Apartment Complex Fires
As a property manager, a fire in one of your apartment complexes is a terrifying prospect. It is your responsibility to keep your tenants safe, which means providing them with a fire escape plan specifically created for their apartment complex. In theory, tenants will never have to use this plan, but being prepared is better than not having an escape plan!
What to Include in a Fire Escape Plan
When interviewing tenants for a rental property, explain that they must follow the general guidelines laid out in the fire escape plan for the apartment complex.
- Include evacuation routes in central locations on each floor. Consider posting near stairwells and elevators.
- Make sure your escape plan is approved by a fire code official.
- Include printouts of the fire escape plan in a new tenant package.
- Update the evacuation plan each year and redistribute printouts at the beginning of the year or when tenants renew their leases.
Include the following information in your escape plan:
What To Do Before a Fire
- Do not rush into the hallway. Feel the door with the back of your hand. If the door is hot, find another way out.
- Close all doors behind you as you escape the fire.
- Use stairs, not an elevator.
- If you cannot escape, stuff wet towels or linens around the door. Call the fire department to tell them where you are.
- Once out of the building STAY OUT.
What To Do After a Fire
- Only reenter the building once the fire department clears you to do so.
- Keep in close contact and communicate with the landlord about who is responsible for paying restoration costs from fire damage.
- Call your rental insurance company and begin to file a claim. Secure temporary housing.
Property Manager To-Do List
As a property manager, you have your own set of to-dos once the fire has been extinguished.
- Make sure all tenants are aware of the fire. Some tenants may have been out of the building and unaware of the situation. Call each tenant and inform them that the fire broke out and that they should quickly begin working with their insurance companies on filing a renters insurance claim.
- Contact your insurance company. Regardless of the cause of the fire, call your insurance company to alert them of the incident. They will send adjusters and investigators to check out the location and to start writing up the report.
- Try to trace the cause of the fire. You will work with tenants and the fire department on this step, but determining the cause of the fire is important for insurance purposes and to help you understand the details of the issue.
- Call Alpha-Omega Disaster Restoration. Our fire restoration team is ready 24/7 for emergency services.
While a fire can be devastating and scary if you take the necessary steps to quickly restore the property damage can be kept to a minimum. Visit Alpha-Omega today for more information.